It's Monday morning and as we get closer to the end of spring and closer to the beginning of summer, more and more UCLA squads find themselves in the home stretches of their seasons. While Coach Mora's national-title contending football team won't return to Spaulding Field until later this evening, we shift our focus to the various bits and pieces of news from our various non-revenue sports, as we get closer to the end of the 2013-14 season for UCLA. Here's your news from around the non-revenue UCLA-iverse:
--- Beginning with the men's volleyball team (which has been superbly covered by Bruinette88 all season long), Coach Speraw's squad had their season come to an earlier-than-hoped end this past Saturday in the MPSF conference tourney quarterfinals against UC Santa Barbara, falling in five sets, 2-3 (25-23, 20-25, 25-18, 20-25, 12-15). The Bruins got double-digit kill efforts from the usual suspects - Gonzalo Quiroga (18), Robart Page (11), and Spencer Rowe (10) - but in the end, it was just short of what was needed to get past the Gauchos in the quarterfinal round. With the loss, the Bruins end their season at 18-11.
--- Turning to the diamond, the #2-ranked softball team continued their sizzling form, playing four games in the past week, and picking up four wins, beginning with a Tuesday beat-down of Cal State Northridge, winning 8-0 in a mercy-rule shortened five inning game. Jessica Hall (5.0 IP, 0 ER, 11 K, 1 H, 1 BB) was outstanding, limiting the Matadors to just a single hit and single walk, while her catcher, Brittany Moeai (2-3, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR) had an outstanding day at the plate, blasting her first homer on the year to drive in three runs as the Bruins romped past Northridge. Beginning this past Thursday, the Lady Bruins hosted the Oregon State Beavers at Easton Stadium, and opened up the series with a 8-4 win. Ally Carda (7.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 K, 9 H, 3 BB) was not her usual dominate self, but she got some offensive help from SS Delaney Spaulding (1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI), C Stephany LaRosa (2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI), and LF Gabrielle Maurice (2-4, 3 RBI) to pick up her 22th victory on the year. On Friday, the Bruins had a repeat of their Tuesday exploits, this time beating the Lady Beavers down, 9-1, in a mercy-rule shortened six-inning affair. Hall (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 K, 4 H, 2 BB) was outstanding, keeping Oregon State limited to just a single run, while the Bruin bats went on a home-run spree, with Carda (1-4, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR), LaRosa (2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR), Mysha Sataraka (1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR), and Moeai (2-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR), all launching bombs over the deep fences. On Saturday, the Bruins repeated Thursday's nervy affair, scrapping out the win, in a close 10-8 win over the Beavers to pick up the series sweep. Carda (3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 K, 6 H, 2 BB) got the start but struggled for the second time in a row against Oregon State, leading Hall (4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 K, 7 H, 2 BB) to come on in relief and do just enough to notch her 14th victory of the year, in large part due to some clutch hitting by Spaulding (2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI), LaRosa (1-2, 2 RBI), Sataraka (2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI), and Maurice (3-3, 1 R, 2 RBI). With the four wins in the books, the Lady Bruins are now 39-4 on the year and 12-3 in conference play, and will be in action later this afternoon and evening (4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. PST) against Long Beach State in a doubleheader in Lakewood.
--- Heading over to the pool, the #3-ranked women's water polo team went across town to take on #2-ranked Southern Cal to wrap up the regular season, and played the part of spoiler on the Trojans' senior day, dropping our hated cross-town foes, 6-4. In a tight game, the Bruins and Trojans traded goals until UCLA had a offensive outburst in the third quarter notching 3 to the Trojans' 1, which would be the final difference to give UCLA a huge end-of-the-year win. Emily Donohoe led all scorers with a hat trick for UCLA, while keeper Sami Hill was huge in the net with 15 saves. With the win, the Lady Bruins end the regular season at 23-3 overall and 5-1 in conference play, and will now enter the MPSF conference tourney this Friday as the #2-seed against Cal State Bakersfield.
--- Turning to tennis, like their water polo colleagues, the #2-ranked women's tennis team ended their regular season this week against the hated Southern Cal Trojans, and just like the ladies in the pool, the ladies of the court took care of business, dropping the #12-ranked Trojans, 4-1. The Lady Bruins opened the day with a win in the doubles action (8-3, 7-8, 8-7), but the Trojans got the first singles point with Catherine Harrison falling (3-6, 1-6). Fortunately, it 'd be the only point Southern Cal would score, as the Bruins ran off singles wins by Kyle McPhillips (6-1, 6-2), Robin Anderson (6-3, 6-2), and Jennifer Brady (6-2, 6-1) to pick up the victory. With the win, UCLA finished the regular season at 21-2 overall and 9-1 in Pac-12 play. Unfortunately, 9-1 wasn't enough as Berkeley dropped Stanford to complete a 10-0 run in conference play and take regular season title. The Bruins will be back in action in singles competitions in the Pac-12 tourney beginning on Thursday in Ojai, before turning their attention to team action in the NCAA tourney in May.
--- As for their male counterparts, the #5-ranked men's tennis team got their final regular season week off to a good start on Wednesday, dropping UC San Diego, 5-0. The Bruins opened up the match strong in doubles action (8-0, 8-3) before picking up four singles points to put the game away, with wins by Marcos Giron (6-1, 6-1), Karue Sell (6-3, 6-0), Ryoto Tachi (6-0, 6-3), and Gage Brymer (6-0, 6-2). Like many of their fellow Bruins, the tennis team took on the hated #3-ranked Southern Cal Trojans to end the regular season, but came up short, losing 4-2 to end the regular season on sour note. Things looked promising for UCLA, taking the doubles point (4-8, 8-7, 8-4) to open the match, but could not get anything going in singles' action, with only Giron (7-6, 6-3) winning a singles match for the Bruins. With the split week, the Bruins end the regular season 20-3 overall and 6-1 in Pac-12 play. They'll have their chance for redemption soon, kicking off the Pac-12 tourney in Ojai on Wednesday.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites for this Monday morning. Fire away in the comment section with your thoughts, additions, or other bits of UCLA-related news.